[IMGCAP(1)]When I consider the Intuit brand, I personally don’t think “innovation.” I think QuickBooks. Plain and simple. And while QuickBooks is a solid product, packed with features, it’s not exactly the poster child for innovation. With every passing year, Intuit adds more helpful features, but there’s really nothing sexy about these enhancements—nothing that makes me want to stand up and shout, “Wow, how cool is that?!”

I’ll offer full disclosure here. I am a QuickBooks ProAdvisior and also formed the 50-member Chicagoland QuickBooks ProAdvisor group here in my home town. I’m part of the Intuit Trainer Writer Network and teach QuickBooks training courses.

As such, I have worked with many Intuit employees; however, I don’t exactly feel “connected” to the company or its brand. I have never truly felt part of their DNA. As a brand, this is an issue. You want your users, trainers—everyone—to feel a connection that draws them back to you over and over again.

In January, I was invited to a meeting with Intuit’s senior leadership team. In attendance was Intuit’s CEO Brad Smith. The team asked for feedback—good, bad, or ugly—about their products and their brand.

During this single meeting, I learned more about Intuit’s innovation then in all my activities with the company combined. I heard about new initiatives and had the opportunity to offer feedback about sharing their messaging with the outside world. What I heard during this meeting made me a true believer that Intuit is indeed innovative—but only because I was in the room and privy to information firsthand.

Clearly, Intuit is not known for sharing information outside the company. If they were, everyone would feel the way I do now: Intuit = Innovation. When the conversation came around to me, I laid it on the line. I told the team that it was time to get transparent with their entire community.

Instead of spewing new product features, the company needed to share their vision openly. I do believe they listened to us (and others) because this year Intuit kicked off their Innovation Event in New York (which just took place last week). CEO Brad Smith gave a rousing keynote, offering the company’s vision and new messaging. It was so refreshing. If you still don’t buy that Intuit is innovative, I encourage you to view Brad’s speech on the Accounting Today TV video page.

As a follow-up to the senior leadership team meeting, Intuit invited a few accountants back to talk further about new design ideas and product development. It was pretty cool. I am so glad that Intuit is starting to disclose their innovative spirit to the external community. It’s been a long time coming. Thank you, Brad Smith!


Jody L. Padar, CPA, MST, is a Certified Public Accountant experienced with Complex Federal & State Income Tax Compliance for Business & Individuals. Jody is an adjunct professor at Oakton Community College, where she teaches Taxation and QuickBooks Courses. She is part of Intuit Trainer Writer Network and speaks nationally on various Technologies and Taxation. She can be reached at www.newvisioncpagroup.com.